The last week has seen two major announcements from two big tech firms, both of which reveal a lot about where these companies are in their trajectory, how they operate and their underlying strategies for innovation. Firstly, Google held their IO developer conference last week and made a raft of product announcements. Secondly, it appears that Yahoo is set to acquire Tumblr for $1.1bn. Whilst Google is rapidly and aggressively developing from within, Yahoo is quite deliberately acquiring in an attempt to innovate and remain relevant.
The Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane is a vision of glamour and grandeur. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon as the attendees of the Performance Marketing Awards congregated outside the entrance to meet friends and colleagues last Tuesday, the 7th of May. Everyone had made an effort with their formal attire and the ladies impressed in a mixture of stylish outfits. Champagne flowed and soon, we were gestured into the great hall to a 3 course meal before the awards took place. It’s amazing that a room so big could look so crowded, full of innovative and creative people, all hoping that their hard work has paid off!
As the award ceremony started and the categories were swiftly read out, it really hits you that you are potentially going to have to walk up on stage and collect an award on behalf of your team. Both an exciting, yet nervy feeling, waiting to hear the winners.
The awards really give the creative talent and intelligent digital marketers of this industry a chance to shine. The award submissions are challenging and time consuming, so it’s a great achievement for Arena to have been shortlisted for all 4 submitted awards. We came highly commended for ‘Best Agency’ and for ‘Best Brand Engagement Campaign’ with Squawka for Domino’s Pizza. We were up against the likes of Starcom MediaVest, Mindshare and MEC. The affiliate team are proud to be highly commended, though the winner of this award, 7things Media, managed to retain this award for the third year running.
One of our campaigns was recognised as a winner: the award for ‘Most incremental Performance Marketing Campaign’ was submitted by Topcashback and their work with Domino’s Pizza.
There have been 2 pieces of news doing the rounds in the last week on how Twitter influences TV viewing. In the US, Nielsen has just released a study that shows that, on average, an 8.5% jump in Twitter conversation about a show generated a 1% increase in ratings. And closer to home, UKTV have said that they believe Twitter conversation has driven TV ratings for their shows.
David Brailsford, the man behind the world dominance of British Cycling, was at Advertising Week on Monday, giving a talk on ‘winning’, with interview questions coming from Martin Sorrell.
One of the things he talked about was goal setting – how to do it right, how to make sure you are setting the right goals, and how to ensure you achieve your goals.
As a cycling fan (armchair only – no lycra), I was excited but sceptical when David Brailsford announced in 2010, shortly after the Sky Cycling team was put together, that they “would win the Tour de France with a British rider, within five years”. After all, the British had a very poor track record in the Tour de France, despite the success on the track in the noughties. What did the team know about the Tour? Did they have the riders to do it? The tactics? The know how?
Of course they actually achieved their goal within 2 years, with Bradley Wiggins’s famous victory in the 2012 Tour – and with Team Sky’s Chris Froome in second place. So it’s probably worth listening to what David Brailsford has to say about effective goal setting. I’ve distilled what he said into four handy tips.
Pay the most money and you can get your text-only ad to be number one on Google, right? WRONG! The Google AdWords system is far more complicated than that. A good “Quality Score” gives an edge to advertisers, even if they aren’t the highest bidder. This is at the core of what we do as search marketers, and helps us shave of those extra pennies from our CPAs or CPLs.
For years however, we have been in the dark about exactly how Google calculates and ultimately distributes quality scores. We’ve been fed snippets, here and there, of what we can do that “may help” improve our ratings – but never any solid guidelines of rights and wrongs.
As part of the How Search Works interactive infographic that was launched this week, Google have decided to publish their search quality rating guidelines publicly to the world. As you may or may not know, the document has been leaked back in 2008 & 2012, when finally they said they were considering going public with it. Now, they have.
It’s a bit of a large chunk of info, but gives some vital insight (for digital marketers anyway) on how to maintain and improve quality scoring within Adwords accounts. Happy bedtime reading!
Today is my final day at MWC and fittingly the emphasis in the conference this morning shifted towards how mobile is impacting the media industry. From Terminal 2, Barcelona Airport, here are my observations from the morning session:
In less than a year, this toddler was viewed over 3.9 million times on YouTube. She received almost 7,000 likes, but also 3,500 dislikes. What’s so special about her?
The video shows how a 1-year-old tries to scroll and zoom in on a magazine the same way she would on an iPad. The little girl puts her finger on the sore spot: with the new generation being able to interact with touch screens before they can read their own name, the era of print may be coming to an end. Or, as the maker of the video puts it: “For my 1 year old daughter, a magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work. It will remain so for her whole life. Steve Jobs has coded a part of her OS.”
If the launch of eReaders such as the Kindle and Nook made one thing clear, it is that the future of print is a very sensitive topic that sparks endless debates. No surprise then, that there are about 3,000 comments on a video titled “A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work”. But is “the end of print” really what this playing child stands for?
Whilst water tight restrictions have made sure that only those who stumped up the cash can play (£700m in cash to be exact, though some brands are willing to push it to the extreme), there are some really interesting things happening with technology and innovation over 2012.
The BBC’s vision was to make this the first truly Digital and Social Olympic games. They have created this excellent Social viewing app in Facebook that enables people to stream multiple sports and talk around them. It has features like stop and rewind, and alerts to big events in other streams. They are also feeding in Tweets live into the studio and on to the 20,000 pages they are creating through an automated back end system. They have openly said that this is a testing project for the role of Social TV services in the coming months.
The athletes are also free to speak through Social, though this is not necessarily always a good thing as Greece discovered and had to send an athlete home for being racist.
Facebook have launched an Olympics Hub which links to the Social profiles of key athletes, teams, sports, places to watch and of course, the sponsors presences.
Visa are using the Olympic village as a platform to showcase their vision of the future of payment and money. Athletes have been given limited edition Samsung Galaxy SIII’s that have payWave (their version of Google Wallet) installed, meaning they can pay for anything by just waving their phone at a terminal. (they can even unlock their hotel doors, control their TVs, and order room service using the technology) They’ve installed 3,000 of these apparently, including inside the rustic replica English pub complete with dartboard and pool table but that only sells Coke and Gatorade.
Uruguay have crowdsourced the designs for their Football shirts and invited fans to upload the sky blue imagery through a Facebook app.
PSFK and Fast Company are pretty good places to keep up to speed with what’s happening in communications, technology and beyond the sport:
There was a really nice article in the Sunday Times yesterday on how close to the bone parody 2012 was, this could not be more true than with this little short on mock PR Agency Perfect Curve’s Digital Strategy for the Olympics. Well worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it. Get your Twibbons, Twadgers, Tweeshirts and Twandanas now. #goteamGB